Monday, 27 January 2020

A British brewer describes Belgian beers in the 1880s (part two)

We're back with that very unimpressed British brewer taking a look at Belgian beer.

He lays out his opinion of Belgian brewing very clearly and frankly in the opening sentence:

"THE beer produced in Belgium may be conveniently, and accurately, divided into two classes: that which is fit to drink, and that which is not. The former class is exclusively composed of low fermentation beer, manufactured upon a system, which is practically the same as that in vogue in Germany; and it should at once be stated that the Belgian lager-beer will compare very favourably with that obtainable in other continental countries. Low fermentation beer, however, constitutes but a small fraction of the total quantity of the malted beverage consumed; and the various concoctions, passing as beer, collectively recognized as the national beverage, are to state the case mildly, somewhat peculiar preparations. Lest it should be imagined that the brewer is altogether responsible for the quality and flavour of the many varieties of beer which can be tasted at the Antwerp Exhibition; it is but just to add that he brews to suite the public palate, and if we may judge by the amount of beer consumed, he is successful enough in this respect."
Holmes' Brewing Trade Gazette - Wednesday 01 July 1885, page 12.

That's a pretty strong condemnation of the traditional Belgian beer styles. Not really unexpected, though. Belgian styles were too different and weird to be apprciated by someone used to English beers. This quote pretty much sums up his view: "the various concoctions, passing as beer". Ouch.

The author, on the other hand, clearly had a very high opinion of British beers:

"Belgium being one of the very few countries in which the high fermentation system still prevails, it is possible to institute a comparison between the brewing products of that country and our own, and I cannot but think that those gentlemen who recently visited us with the object of inspecting our leading establishments and sampling the best of our beer, must have returned not a little astonished at the superior quality of the article produced in England. It is possible, however, that the English working man has still to be educated up to a standard, which in many cases would certainly be a convenient one, but, to which he, at present, can scarcely be said to aspire; and it may possibly be that beer which is absolutely sour, scarcely ever bright, always devoid of condition, and with a flavour approximating to that of flat zoedone, may, to to those who have been duly initiated into its advantages, be deemed preferable to a glass of sparkling, mild, or bitter beer. However, this may be, it is certain that the Belgian beer corresponding to our ordinary running ale would, in this country, be scornfully returned both by the publican and his customer."
Holmes' Brewing Trade Gazette - Wednesday 01 July 1885, pages 12 - 13.
 If you're wodering, Zoedone was some sort of non-alcoholic drink. The comparison with it I don't think is meant to be a compliment. This is pretty damning: "our, scarcely ever bright, always devoid of condition". He makes it sound lovely, doesn't he?

Sunday, 26 January 2020

A British brewer describes Belgian beers in the 1880s

I love those descriptions of British brewers' and drinkers' encounters with Belgian beer. They're unanimous in their views: they taste dreadful

To be fair, their opinions mirror my own on first encountering Belgian beer. Many years ago at a Great Britiash Beer Festival in the late 1970s. "Is it supposed to taste like this?" was my reaction to Lambic. It just tasted like beer which had gone incredibly off.

While we're on the topic of Lambic, let's see what the authore thought of it:

"A beverage in great demand in the neighbourhood of Brussels, and which is also regarded in a very favourable light in Antwerp, and more especially at the Salon de degustation in the Exhibition is known as Lambic. The chief peculiarity, but certainly not the principal recommendation of this very remarkable ale, is to be found in the fact that not less than three and and sometimes as many as five years are required for its preparation. It is very low in gravity, and in that respect its consumption is possible to be commended; no yeast is added to the wort after it has been boiled, but it is allowed to undergo a spontaneous fermentation by storage iu unbuuged casks, in a cellar probably more remarkable for the number and variety of fortuitous germs floating about it, than for its cleanliness. That some stray yeast-cells find their way into the casks, and alighting upon a favourable medium, multiply with rapidity, is easily conceivable; but it will scarcely be urged, that the fermentation is purely alcoholic. Indeed, the difficulty, from an English brewer's point of view, will probably be to decide as to whether the aroma be attributable to casks winch have grown musty in the service, to butyric acid, to acetic acid, or to genuine putrefactive fermentation. In any case the combination is nasty; and it would be easier to induce an English farmer to cultivate a taste for olives than for lambic."
Holmes' Brewing Trade Gazette - Wednesday 01 July 1885, page 13.
Not exactly a ringing recommendation. Interesting that he says it's very low gravity. I've only a couple of analyses of 19th-century Lambic and one is 6.5% ABV.

Now he takes his axe to Faro:

"The second runnings of lambic wort are probably designed to develop a liking for this extraordinary article, for they are retained for the preparation of a beer known as Faro, which is practically intermediate between the running ale of the estaminets and lampic. Faro is not entirely fermented spontaneously, but has a small quantity of yeast added to it. When finished, it very much resembles a weak solution of hydrochloric acid. It may be tonic, but is not palatable, at least from our point of view."
Holmes' Brewing Trade Gazette - Wednesday 01 July 1885, page 13.
Not sure I've ever seen it mentioned before that some yeast was added to Faro. I don't think comparing Faro to hydrochloric acid is meant to be a compliment.

"A still more extraordinary product is that known as Biere Blanche. To the uninitiated it is not unlike workhoouse gruel in appearance, and, if one may judge by reports, there is not such a very great dissimilarity between the flavour of the two articles. If white beer be bright it is considered worth the drinking; but so long as it remains thick, it is consumed with evident relish. Your readers will not be surprised to learn that white beer is not adapted for store purposes, when they are told that it is with scarcely any hops, and that only half the wort is boiled, the remainder being conveyed direct from the mash-tun to the cooler preparatory to fermentation. Before pitching, it is mixed with the half that has been boiled, and to which a few hops have been added. This unique beverage has the colour of ginger beer, but is somewhat thicker in consistency. It is no exaggeration to state that the teetotal party might render good service to their cause by introducing white beer into England."
Holmes' Brewing Trade Gazette - Wednesday 01 July 1885, page 13.
Fair to say that he wasn't impressed with Witbier. Workhouse gruel: what a lovely description.

Amazing to think that some of these beers are so highly regarded nowadays.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Let's Brew - 1853 Reid KKKK

I thought I'd move away from the WW II theme today. With a super-strong 19th-century Burton Ale. From Reid, once a major force in London brewing, now mostly forgotten

The strongest X and K Ales, XXXX and KKKK had both disappeared by 1900. In London, at least.

Though between the wars Barclay Perkins brewed one. It was a winter seasonal and, if the adverts are to be believed, was dispensed from a pin on the bar. Something you still saw in the 1970’s. Marston’s Old Ale was usually served that way. I wonder if anywhere still does that?

KKKK is, as you would expect, an absolute monster of a beer. Over 11% ABV and more than 100 calculated IBUs. The perfect beer for a lunchtime session.

As with all Stock Ales, this would have been aged. In the case of a beer this strong, probably at least 12 months.

1853 Reid KKKK
pale malt 26.25 lb 100.00%
Goldings 120 mins 5.00 oz
Goldings 60 mins 5.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 5.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.50 oz
OG 1116
FG 1032
ABV 11.11
Apparent attenuation 72.41%
IBU 128
SRM 10
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 56º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

The above is one of the many recipes in my book Let's Brew!

And I've recently created a Kindle version of the book.

Friday, 24 January 2020

Whitbread's Ale and Stout

Random price list time. Today it's the turn of Whitbread bottled beers from 1937.

It comes from a bit away from London - Grantham in Linconshire. Which is about 100 miles due North of the capital. I usually refer to Grantham as Newark's evil twin. Especially when speaking with Dolores. She wasn't impressed by Grantham.

Whitbread was one of the small group of brewers whose products were sold nationally. Though it Whitbread's case the more distant trade seems to have been exclusively bottled. Whereas others - such as Bass - also supplied draught beer all overs the country.

Listed below is pretty much the full set of Whitbread's bottled beers. The only one missing is Extra Stout. But there's a good reason for that - it was brewed exclusively for export, principally to Belgium. There's still a beer sold as Whitbread Extra Stout in Belgium

Grantham Journal - Saturday 11 December 1937, page 4.
Here are the details of the beers themselves. Plus the relative price per strength.

Whitbread bottled beers in 1937
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl price per pint (d) gravity points per d
IPA IPA 1037.1 1009.5 3.65 74.39% 10.00 1.58 7 5.30
X Mild 1033.1 1011.0 2.92 66.77% 7.92 1.12 7 4.73
DB Brown Ale 1054.7 1012.5 5.58 77.15% 9.98 2.32 9 6.08
LS Stout 1044.6 1013.0 4.18 70.85% 6.94 1.26 8.5 5.25
LOS Stout 1044.6 1013.0 4.18 70.85% 6.94 1.26 8.5 5.25
MS Stout 1057 1024.5 4.19 57.02% 6.95 1.48 10 5.70
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/103, LMA/4453/D/01/104 and LMA/4453/D/09/125.
Thomas Usher Gravity Book held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number TU/6/11.

Surprisingly, Double Brown is the best value, followed by Mackeson. Though there are some caveats. The gravity given for X/Forest Brown is probably too low. From analyses I know that the real OG was higher - more like 1038º. The increase is due to the addition of primings at racking time. In value for money terms. it's prbably really about the same as IPA.

The OG and FG of Mackeson I've taken from an analysis rather than the brewing record. As the lactose added at racking time isn't recorded in the brewing record.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Tetley's grists in 1939

Tetley weren’t ones for using all sort of fancy malts in their beers. In fact, they didn’t use much malt of any kind in many of their beers.

The three weakest Mild Ales, F, X1 and X1 Pale, are only 55% malt. The rest being fairly evenly split between grits and sugar. That’s a very low proportion of malt. Though it did come several flavours.

In all the beers there were four types of pale malt, two made from English barley and two from Californian. It was pretty much an exact four-way split between the different types. Pretty soon the supply of Californian barley would dry up and brewers would revert to 100% English.

The posher beers have very different grists. There are no grits and the percentage of sugar is a bit lower, leaving them over 80% malt. That’s quite a contrast with the three cheap beers. The sugar also seems to be of a different type, though I’m not 100% sure about that as some of the entries are a bit vague.

While some of Tetley’s malt might have been made from foreign barley, the hops they used were 100% English. Mostly from Kent, but also from Worcester.

I’ve already mentioned the low hopping rate at Tetley. That was compounded by the use of a lot of rather old hops.

These beers were brewed in October 1939. So probably a little early to be seeing hops from the 1939 crop. Quite a large percentage – two-thirds, in some cases – were from the 1936 harvest. They had been kept in a cold store, but that’s still getting pretty old.

Not that exactly the same types of hops are used in everything except K, the Bitter. It contains none of the old Worcester hops and mostly ones from the 1938 season.

Tetley's grists in 1939
Beer Style OG pale malt grits caramel A Dem Albion "A" other sugar ARC
F Mild  1034.9 54.82% 23.42% 0.16% 21.60%
X1 Mild  1042.4 54.82% 23.42% 0.16% 21.60%
X1 Pale Mild  1042.9 55.09% 23.33% 0.07% 21.51%
X2 Mild  1055.4 82.25% 0.61% 17.14%
K Pale Ale 1047.9 82.54% 17.34% 0.12%
XXX Strong Ale 1090.9 82.25% 0.61% 17.14%
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archive Services, document number WYL756/ACC3349/557.

Tetley's hops in 1939
Beer Style OG Kent 1937 CS Kent 1938 Kent 1938 CS Worcester 1936 CS
F Mild  1034.9 24.88% 37.56% 37.56%
X1 Mild  1042.4 24.88% 37.56% 37.56%
X1 Pale Mild  1042.9 25.00% 37.50% 37.50%
X2 Mild  1055.4 25.20% 12.40% 62.40%
K Pale Ale 1047.9 37.27% 50.13% 12.60%
XXX Strong Ale 1090.9 25.20% 12.40% 62.40%
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archive Services, document number WYL756/ACC3349/557.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1941 Boddington IP

There’s an eight month gap in Boddington’s wartime brewing records. Because on 23rd December 1940 the brewery was seriously damaged in an air raid. Brewing didn’t restart until 25th August 1941.

There are quite a few differences between this version of IP and the one from the end of 1940. For a start, the gravity has been slashed by 5º. Though an increased degree of attenuation has left the ABV little changed.

The flaked rice has been dropped again and replaced by . . . nothing. I’m not sure if there’s any adjunct in the grist or not. Because the brewing record is a bit vague about the wheat. It could be flaked wheat or wheat malt. I really don’t know.

That aside, the grist remains pretty simple. English pale malt, malt extract and touch of enzymic malt and two types of sugar FL and B. No idea what they were, so I’ve substituted No. 2 invert.

The hopping rate has fallen a little, from 7.25 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt to 7lbs. There were two types of copper hops, both English, from the 1940 harvest and kept in a cold store.

Another change is the yeast, which is described as “Tadcaster”. As they hadn’t brewed for several months, it’s no surprise that they didn’t have any yeast to hand. It is odd that they got yeast from Yorkshire rather than closer by. I’m guessing that it was either from the Tower Brewery (later owned by Bass Charrington) or John Smith.

1941 Boddington IP
pale malt 7.50 lb 86.61%
flaked wheat 0.33 lb 3.81%
malt extract 0.33 lb 3.81%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.50 lb 5.77%
Fuggles 120 mins 0.75 oz
Fuggles 90 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1040
FG 1008
ABV 4.23
Apparent attenuation 80.00%
IBU 30
Mash at 146º F
Sparge at 162º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1318 London ale III (Boddingtons)

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Adnams Southwold bottled beers (part two)

We're back with this 1938 Adnams advertisement.

Diss Express - Friday 30 December 1938, page 8.
Remember how I mentioned yesterday there was a reason for the rather specific claim: "These three Beers are guaranteed now, for some years past, brewed from English Barley Malt, English Hops, and Cane Sugar only."

Odd, as Adnams brewed four beers at the time? Where's PA, their Bitter? This is why:

Look at the entry that goes over the "M" in MALTS. Itsays "Cali" at the end. Meaning it's malt made from Californian barley.

I've no idea why only PA would include malt made from foreign barley.  It's a mystery.

Adnams were unusual in not using unmalted grains. Even for most of the years of WW II their beers were malt and sugar only.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Adnams Southwold bottled beers

I'm a bit of a saddo in many ways. Illustrated by my level of excitement about finding this advertisement:

Diss Express - Friday 30 December 1938, page 8.
Why, I hear you ask.? Because I can match it up with the beers in a brewing record. As I have a very full set of Adnams records (thanks Fergus).

But this is even more special, as there are such specific claims about the ingredients used. It claims: "English Barley Malt only". And also "These three Beers are guaranteed now, for some years past, brewed from English Barley Malt, English Hops, and Cane Sugar only."

You see these boasts occasionally in advertisements. Being in the position of check it makes be unresonably happy. You're probably wondering how dull my life is if something like this gets me excited. The answer: not as dull as it appears.

These are the beers from a few months later (May 1939):

Adnams beers in 1939
Date Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
22nd May XX Mild Ale 1029 1006.1 3.03 78.99% 4.93 0.58
24th May XXXX Old Ale 1055 1017.7 4.93 67.77% 6.94 1.53
23rd May PA Pale Ale 1039 1010.0 3.84 74.43% 8.00 1.27
8th Jun DS Stout 1042 1013.3 3.80 68.34% 5.78 1.01
Adnams brewing record Book 26 held at the brewery.

Adnams beers fit in really well with the interwar strength/price matrix. Looking at the gravities, XX, Double Stout and XXXX would sell for 4d, 6d and 8d per pint, on draught in a public bar. Bottled pints went for about 1d more than draughts, so it all makes perfect sense.

But have you noticed something odd? When you compare the advert and my table? All will be revealed tomorrow.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Tetley's beers in 1939

To say Tetley started the war with an unusual range of beers is a bit of an understatement. Four Mild Ales, a Bitter and a Strong Ale.

Some of the Milds had a very long history. X1 and X2 had been around since at least the 1840s. That’s an awfully long time. Managing to survive WW I as a strong Mild was quite an achievement.

K had been around quite a while, arriving in the 1860s. Though it seems to have changed character, and possibly even style, since its inception. Early versions were incredibly lightly hopped – 2 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt – when their Mild were getting between 6 lbs and 8 lbs.

In the 1880s, when the hopping rate of Milds dropped to between 4 lbs and 6lbs, that of K was boosted to 10 lbs. A massive change. Which seems to have transformed K into a Pale Ale. When the stronger PA was dropped towards the end of WW I, it became Tetley’s only Bitter.

F – which surely stands for Family Ale – is a beer I can remember. In the 1970s, unavailable on draught, it was essentially bottled Mild. I’m not sure if this version was ever sold on draught. I suspect it might have, given that it’s around the strength of interwar Ordinary Mild.

While X1 looks very much like a 6d per pint Best Mild. X2 I’m really not sure about. It’s awfully strong for a 1930s Mild. I can’t remember seeing another of this strength. So perhaps it was sold as a draught Old Ale.

The hopping rates are very low. More in line with Scotland than England. Fullers. For example, hopped their Mild and Burton Ales at 7 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) or malt and their Pale Ales at 9 lbs. While Lees over the Pennines hopped both their Mild and Bitter and around 7 lbs per quarter.

What’s missing from the set? A Stout of any description. I could just have missed it. But it’s also missing from the records from the 1920s and earlier 1930s which I have.

Tetley's beers in 1939
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp
F Mild  1034.9 1011.6 3.08 66.67% 3.76 0.51 62º
X1 Mild  1042.4 1011.4 4.10 73.20% 3.76 0.61 63º
X1 Pale Mild  1042.9 1013.9 3.85 67.74% 4.23 0.71 63º
X2 Mild  1055.4 1011.9 5.75 78.50% 4.72 1.08 62º
K Pale Ale 1047.9 1011.6 4.80 75.72% 4.77 0.88 62º
XXX Strong Ale 1090.9 1030.2 8.03 66.77% 4.72 1.76 62º
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archive Services, document number WYL756/ACC3349/557.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Let's Brew - 1940 Barclay Perkins X (Dark)

Even this early in the war its effects were starting to be felt by brewers and drinkers. X has had 3º skimmed off its gravity.

There have been some changes to the grist, too. The quantity of pale malt has been massively reduced, replaced by more mild malt. Flaked rice arrives in place of flaked maize. But there’s about 50% less of it, the slack being taken up by No. 3 invert. I’ve added an extra 0.25 lb of No. 3 invert to allow for the primings, which raised the effective OG by about 2º.

The base malt was rather more complex than at first sight. The pale malt was split evenly between Hama (Middle East) and Californian. While about a third of what I have as mild malt was actually SA malt. Malt made from foreign barley wouldn’t be around for much longer as, for various reasons, imports of brewing grains dried up.

If you use the recipe below, but swap out 0.25 lbs of No. 3 for No. 1 invert, you’ll get the pale version of X. To get the colour right for the dark version, you’ll need to add sufficient caramel to raise it to 20 SRM.

The hops are also more complex than at first sight. They’re all Mid-Kent Fuggles from the 1939 harvest, but there are three different types.

1940 Barclay Perkins X (Dark)
pale malt 0.50 lb 7.01%
mild malt 3.75 lb 52.59%
crystal malt 60 L 0.33 lb 4.63%
amber malt 0.25 lb 3.51%
flaked rice 0.75 lb 10.52%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.50 lb 21.04%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.05 lb 0.70%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.75 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.50 oz
OG 1034
FG 1008
ABV 3.44
Apparent attenuation 76.47%
IBU 30
SRM 15
Mash at 144º F
After underlet 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

Friday, 17 January 2020

How to tackle tax increases

I always wondered a couple of things about Australian beer when I lived there. Why was it stronger than beer in the UK and why did they use such weird glass sizes.

This aricle in the excellent Time Gents blog explains it.

It's all to do with price inelasticity and tax increases. And it forms an interesting contrast with what occurred in the UK.

In the 20th century, brewers struggled with small tax increases. Mostly beacuse of the limitations of the currency. The cheapest beer only cost 2d per pint and the smallest coin was a farthing (a quarter penny).  What did you do if a tax increase raised the price by 12.5% (as happened in 1901)? If you raised the price of Mild from 2d to 2.25d, what price would you sell a half pint for?

The brewers found a simple solution: they just dropped the OG enough so the beer could still retail for the same price. Which also caused less unrest amongst drinkers, as the price of their pint remained the same. Quite inportant pre-WW I, when the price of beer had been constant for 40 or 50 years. And, initially, drinkers probably wouldn't notice the difference in strength.

Australian brewing struggled with the same challenges when the tax on beer was increased. Drinkers didn't want to pay more for their beer, and there were limits on the currency.

But a different approach was taken. Mostly because it was the publicans, rather than the brewers, who were calling the shots. Rather than increase the price, they reduced the glass size. As only Imperial Pints and half pints were controlled measures, new glasses, such as the schooner, were introduced.

When introduced in 1932, a New South Wales schooner was 18 fluid ounces, just a little smaller than an Imperial pint. By 1945 it was down to just 13 fluid ounces.

So while UK drinkers got the same quantity of weaker beer, Australians got less beer, but at the same price.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Drybrough's beers in 1948

No brewery was immune to changes in its beers during WW II. Government control of raw materials and the quantity of beer which could be brewed impacted all brewers heavily.

Though Drybrough appear to have suffered less than some, especially when it came to cuts in gravity. Why was that? Because their gravities were quite low to start with. The vast bulk of the beer Drybrough brewed at the start of the war was 60/- PA, and that was 4º below the average OG for the UK of 1041º. Only two of its beers, 80/- PA and Burns Ale were above average OG and both were brewed in minute quantities.

But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t considerable strength reductions across Drybrough’s whole range. 60/- in 1948 was weaker than 54/- had been before the war. That is, just about barely intoxicating.

It’s interesting to see that Drybrough still lacked a beer in the Ordinary Bitter class. 54/- and 60/- are more like English Milds in strength. And 80/- was like a Best Bitter. An Ordinary Bitter was missing until around 1960, when Keg Heavy was introduced at 1037º.

The hopping rate has fallen since 1936 from around 5 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt to 4 lbs. Or about 20%, which exactly the reduction demanded by the government in June 1941.

I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the FGs quoted in the table. The last gravity listed in Drybrough’s brewing records is the cleansing gravity, not the racking gravity. The real FGs, I know from analyses of their beers as sold, were a good bit lower. As this table shows:

Drybrough beers 1946 - 1949
Year Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation
1946 60/- Ale Pale Ale 1029.5 1007.5 2.85 74.58%
1946 60/- Ale Pale Ale 1030 1008.5 2.78 71.67%
1947 80/- Ale Pale Ale 1034 1008 3.37 76.47%
1948 Strong Ale Strong Ale 1060 1019.5 5.25 67.50%
1949 PA 60/- Pale Ale 1030 1004.5 3.32 85.00%
Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11

1948 wasn't the nadir for Drybrough's beers in terms of strength. That was the year earlier, when 54/-, 60/- and XXP were 1026º, 1029º, 1036º, respectively.

Drybrough's beers in 1948
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp
P 54/- Pale Ale 1027 1011 2.12 59.26% 3.96 0.45 60º
P 60/- Pale Ale 1030 1011 2.51 63.33% 4.33 0.56 59.5º
XXP Pale Ale 1041 1014 3.57 65.85% 3.96 0.68 60º
Burns Strong Ale 1070 1031 5.16 55.71% 4.33 1.30 59º
Drybrough brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number D/6/1/1/6.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1909 Whitbread IPA

Time for another genuine English IPA recipe, I think. One that was really brewed in England and marketed as IPA. Rather than what American home brewers think English IPA shoule be like by reverse engineering it from US versions. I'm pretty sure this beer fails to meet any IPA guidelines.

Whitbread first brewed their IPA in 1900. Making this a fairly early iteration of the beer.

Just to confuse modern style Nazis, it was lower in gravity that the Pale Ale that they had been brewing since 1865. That beer had an OG of around 1060º. One thing that does fit in with modern ideas is the hopping rate, which was slightly higher for the IPA.

There’s not much to the recipe. Just pale malt, invert sugar and a load of Goldings. Not as crazy as in some 19th-century beers, but enough to give calculated IBUs in the 60s.

It’s possible at this date that the colour was adjusted with caramel at racking time.

1909 Whitbread IPA
pale malt 8.00 lb 80.00%
no. 1 sugar 2.00 lb 20.00%
Goldings 90 mins 1.75 oz
Goldings 60 mins 1.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1049.6
FG 1015
ABV 4.58
Apparent attenuation 69.76%
IBU 68
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

The above is one of the many recipes in my book Let's Brew!

And I've recently created a Kindle version of the book.